Spring fever

Several weeks ago I was lucky enough to have my name drawn out of the hat to receive one of twenty Spring Fever packs put together by Lesley Watt, Caroline Dewison and Claire Braunbath of Thea Elements, Blueberribeads and Smitten Beads.  Each of the packs contained an assortment of handmade ceramic beads and beautiful sari silk, and each had a different colourway.  The recipients were challenged to use the components and share what they made today, as part of a blog hop.  Here’s the pack I received.

spring fever pack1

And here’s what I made. Definitely Spring-y.

bunny button 1

So Spring-y, I threw in a bunny for good measure.

bunny button 2

(bunny button – Dottery Pottery)

For some reason, I struggled somewhat with the large flower pendant.  I think it was something to do with balancing it with the shape and length of the necklace. I ended up layering it over one of my patinated leaves.  I’ve made a couple of choker length pieces recently – I’d sorta forgotten about chokers, I think!  Anyway, I think that it’s a good length for this particular focal.

daisy choker 1

daisy choker 4

My favourite bead was the larger bird with the wee flower on its side, so I decided to treat myself and made this simple pendant piece for me.

my pendant

The choker and the bracelet are now listed in my Etsy shop.  I’d hoped to get a pair of earrings made using the sari silk but that hasn’t happened yet…  soon!

Big thanks again to Lesley, Caroline and Claire! Here’s a list of all the other blog hop participants, so you can hop around and see what everyone else made, like I’m about to do:

Lori Bowring Michaud – http://artfullyornamental.blogspot.com/
Erin Prais – Hintz – http://treasures-found.blogspot.co.uk/
Toltec Jewels – JewelSchoolFriends.com

 

More new jewellery

It’s market day again this weekend, so I’ve been busy making up more stock.  I hadn’t quite realised how busy, until I started taking all the photos.  They’re a bit dark, I’m afraid, but there’s plenty of them.  If there’s anything you fancy, just give me a shout.

stripe spike

(ceramic spikes – Scorched Earthblue eyes

(ceramic charm, tube, cap and connector – Scorched Earth, lampwork bead – Tartan Trout, beaded bead – Malin de Koning, beach pottery button – Grey Bird Studio)

crystal clouds

(ceramic cloud – Grubbi)

jonquil

olive owl

(ceramic owl – Blueberribeads)

pale heart

(ceramic heart – Bo Hulley Beads)

quatz-y house

(ceramic house – Elukka, patina clasp – Something to do Beads)

red flower cluster necklace

(lampwork focal – At The Edge (also Cheeky Cherub Designs))

the light

(ceramic lantern and charm – Scorched Earth)

verd bird pendant necklace

(ceramic heart charm – Scorched Earth, bronze polymer bird, patina chain and hoops – Something to do Beads)

Why must necklaces be so tricky to photograph?  These last earrings earrings aren’t actually going on the stall.  They’re already stuck in my ears.  Had to be done…

platinum drops

(ceramic drops – Scorched Earth)

New designs

Just a quick blog post, this – with pictures of new jewellery designs, and very few words!  I’ll be doing my regular market in a week or so and I may not get around to listing these before then, so do let me know if there’s anything that catches you eye.poppy

(polymer poppy – Elise Canning, ceramic heart – Scorched Earth)

feather fall

(dip-dye vintage feather – Something to do Beads)

peacock saucer

(lampwork beads – Cheeky Cherub Designs, dyed patina chain – Something to do Beads)

feather bed

(ceramic heart – Scorched Earth, rose bead – Gaea)

stonewash

(lampwork beads – Cheeky Cherub Designs)

ombre bird pearls

(porcelain bird – Blueberribeads)

Starting late…

So, at last, a blog. And a new year seems a fit time to start out on one. I could have said this much a week ago, when I first settled down to write this opening post. Since then I’ve been quietly turning a blind eye to an increasingly pressing virtual blank page. At least my procrastination led me to make some new pieces, which I’ll dot throughout here. I love the chunky vintage copper curb chain in this bracelet. I had planned to add more details to it, but struggled to find something that suited the proportions of the chain. Having left it for a few days, I decided I liked it as is, raw and slightly spare.

Rich vtg chain bracelet- edited

At least the new year gives me one (slightly inevitable) subject to go at, and making jewellery offers some chance of making resolutions that are manageable – enjoyable, even – rather than the usual denials of pleasure or emotional disciplining (‘I’m not going to worry about X, I will no longer care about Y). And, as this is my first post, it will give a bit of an idea of what is to come on my blog. This year I will try lampwork and have a go at making ceramic beads. I did ceramics for several years when I was younger and I wish I had the room here to take it up again properly (this year I will continue to dream of owning a shed), but I’ll have to make do with a workshop for now. One of the main reasons I use polymer clay is that it can be used in confined, domestic spaces. I’m planning to try some new claying skills this year, and experiment with making moulds, stamps and texture sheets. I’ve also got plans for some text pieces that I’m hoping to get working on shortly.

rutile earrings

Of course, selling jewellery offers its own set of more challenging but predictable resolutions – spread the word, do more markets, promote, promote, promote…  I must at least resolve to get a bit better at this side of things.

One other thing I’ve told myself I must start to do more, is use the art beads that I’ve been hoarding for ages.   I only really discovered the mass of beautiful handmade beads that are available from all over the world in the last twelve months.  (I always wish I could have two of everything I get so I can keep one for myself.)   I’ve already made a start to this end while I’ve been busy not writing my blog.  I used Lesley Watt’s gorgeous bronze button in this bracelet, along with a lovely pale rose dahlia bead from Ciel Creations (all contact details are given below.).  I’m quite tempted to keep this one for myself.

rose tones w dahlia

There’s a Blueberribeads urchin nestled in there too.  I have quite a clutch of Caroline’s pieces, including this gorgeous pendant that has finally been freed from the hoard.

mellowing necklace_edited-1

I’ve also got a fair few NKP Designs beads stashed away.  One found its way into this bracelet.

penny button bracelet - edit

I had the idea for this piece in my head for some time and when I came to make it, it was a bit of a fiddle to realise.  I came close to abandoning it, but I’m glad I pressed on.

It is, I think, a pretty poor time of year to be subjecting yourself to additional deprivations and punishing strictures.  I find winters quite difficult, and the coming tranche is the worst.  There’s none of the warmth of autumn and its attendant celebrations (i.e. pumpkins and bonfires), and the anticipation of Christmas has passed.   Despite having resolved to abandon all hope of there being anything like a summer this year, I am allowing myself to look forward just a little.

crisp white bracelet

vintage spring floral necklaceThose stunning lampwork roses in the bracelet are made by Cecelia Lawrence of Midgetgembeads.  I think that’s all my jewellery-related resolutions dealt with.  I’ll save the more harrowing ones for another day.  After all, I don’t want to exhaust all my potential subject matter in one sitting.   I realise I’m writing this as if you might have the first clue who I am and what I do.  You’ll find an ‘About’ link at the top of the page, which gives some idea of what’s what with something to do with your hands.  It also gives links to my Etsy and Folksy shops (where I sell my jewellery and handmade beads).  Whoever you are, I hope you’ll be back soon.  Foolishly, I picked a blog host that is fiendishly difficult to use – you practically need to be a computer programmer.  I’ve been relying very heavily on my friend, David [Thank you, David!].  I’m hoping to set up some method of subscription shortly.  Perhaps I can tempt you back by telling you that next time there’ll be a giveaway!!  Ta-ra for now.

rose taupe long earrings